Annual budget likely on July 11, says Speaker

Ilam, July 5:

Speaker of the interim parliament Subas Chandra Nembang today said an announcement of the constituent assembly polls alone cannot ensure that they will be held.

Speaking at a function to lay the foundation stone of the building of the Ilam chapter of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists, he said preparations should be made to develop infrastructure and programmes to hold the CA polls on time. “The CA polls are imminent and cannot be hindered by any force if the whole country stands for it,” he said.

He urged everyone to conclusively round off talks with Madhesis, indigenous nationalities and other agitating parties for creating a conducive environment for the CA polls. “The agitation launched by Madhesis and indigenous nationalities should rather be tapped as an opportunity,” he said. He opined that the goal of Jana Andolan II would not be achieved if the transitional period prolongs.

He hoped that annual programmes and policies presented in parliament yesterday would get approval by July 11. “Probably, the annual budget will be announced on July 11,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, FNJ central president Bishnu Nishthuri said he was unhappy with the annual programmes and policies as these had failed to address journalists’ demands. “We were hoping that the government’s annual programmes and policies would deal with restructuring the Nepali media, but it has nothing in this regard. We want the a clear programme to end the financial misery of journalists in the budget ,” he added. He said, “The working conditions for scribes in the Tarai are worse than during the king’s direct rule. The government is not serious about stepping up security even after we approached it with evidence. Impunity has not ended. The government also has not made public the Rayamajhi Commission’s report or punished the guilty.”

He laid emphasis on the need to keep the government media under parliament. “The system of holding guns in one hand and media in the other should end,” he said.